Community engagement events for new Boora art commission

Offaly County Council, Mayo County Council and Visual Artist Ireland have announced that international artist Hardeep Sahota has been selected for an art commission in Lough Boora Sculpture Park in Offaly and Tír Sáile Sculpture Trail in North Mayo. Hardeep Sahota will be collaborating with the photographer Tim Smith on this project. As part of their research and community engagement they will be the facilitating two events in Offaly in early September 2023.

The first event 'Your local stories about work industries' will take place on Monday, September 4, 2pm-4.30pm at Esker Arts, Tullamore. There will be a presentation of the artists work and how it is inspired by local work industries. Afterwards people will have an opportunity to share their stories of their working lives. Have you worked in one of the many local industries across the region, such as textiles, peat-harvesting, farming, distillery or any other industry? If so, come along to this event. The artists will be exploring the importance of industry, identity and place in order to celebrate their findings through a fusion of art, photography, dance, a specially commissioned soundscape and a short film.

The second event 'Have a Go – Dance and Light-painting!' will take place on Monday, September 4, at 6-7.30pm at Esker Arts Centre, Tullamore. Join international artist Hardeep Sahota to learn some vibrant Indian Dance as well as the basics of ‘painting’ with light with support from the acclaimed photographer Tim Smith. This Light-painting workshop is open to dancers of all ages, style and abilities. This exciting new project will explore your individual dance styles through light-painting. These images will in-turn, inform a larger project that explores movement, identity and place. Originating from the Panjab in South Asia, Bhangra is an energetic traditional folk dance and musical form. In this interactive workshop, UK-based practitioner Hardeep Sahota will demonstrate some easy-to-learn Bhangra moves for you to follow. You will then get the opportunity to explore long-exposure photography using digital cameras and lights. Booking is required, you can contact Esker Arts, to book a place.

This artist commission is part of Art in the Landscape, a project led by Offaly County Council in collaboration with partner organisations Bord Na Móna, Lough Boora Sculpture Park, Mayo County Council and Visual Artist Ireland.

The project takes its inspirations from Lough Boora Sculpture Park in Offaly and the Tír Sáile Sculpture Trail in North Mayo, two of the largest sculpture park/trails in Ireland.

This phase of the project will return to the local context, focusing on aspects of Art in the Landscape that are specific to each locality, through artist-led projects and in person events. It will include an artist commission at Lough Boora Sculpture Park, and in North Mayo and a Festival of Change in 2024. Visual Artists Ireland Get Together will be taking place at Esker Arts in October 2023 and is affiliated to this project. This project is funded by the Arts Council’s An Invitation to Collaboration Scheme.

The partners are delighted to be working with Helen Pheby, Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, who has been engaged to curate the artists commissions and overall curatorial direction of the project. Helen Pheby is Associate Director, Programme, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP).

Hardeep Sahota is a multidisciplinary artist and academic widely known for his work in the field of Bhangra. Hardeep is also a secondary school teacher of art, and an Affiliate Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, in recognition of his research and work within the local community. For his exhibition, ‘Bhangra Lexicon’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park he collaborated with freeelance photographer Tim Smith to capture dance, body movements and gestures associated with Bhangra, using coloured lights and long-exposure photography. He continues to study this life-long fascination with dance through the ephemeral qualities of light-painting and other creative explorations.

If you are interested in booking a place for the events above or would like more information on the project please contact The Arts Office, Offaly County Council or if you would like to book a place, please contact Esker Arts 057-9383801 Email: